Mar 20 2017 cs.CV
Despite the substantial progress in recent years, the image captioning techniques are still far from being perfect.Sentences produced by existing methods, e.g. those based on RNNs, are often overly rigid and lacking in variability. This issue is related to a learning principle widely used in practice, that is, to maximize the likelihood of training samples. This principle encourages high resemblance to the "ground-truth" captions while suppressing other reasonable descriptions. Conventional evaluation metrics, e.g. BLEU and METEOR, also favor such restrictive methods. In this paper, we explore an alternative approach, with the aim to improve the naturalness and diversity -- two essential properties of human expression. Specifically, we propose a new framework based on Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (CGAN), which jointly learns a generator to produce descriptions conditioned on images and an evaluator to assess how well a description fits the visual content. It is noteworthy that training a sequence generator is nontrivial. We overcome the difficulty by Policy Gradient, a strategy stemming from Reinforcement Learning, which allows the generator to receive early feedback along the way. We tested our method on two large datasets, where it performed competitively against real people in our user study and outperformed other methods on various tasks.
We study characteristics of receptive fields of units in deep convolutional networks. The receptive field size is a crucial issue in many visual tasks, as the output must respond to large enough areas in the image to capture information about large objects. We introduce the notion of an effective receptive field, and show that it both has a Gaussian distribution and only occupies a fraction of the full theoretical receptive field. We analyze the effective receptive field in several architecture designs, and the effect of nonlinear activations, dropout, sub-sampling and skip connections on it. This leads to suggestions for ways to address its tendency to be too small.
While most approaches to semantic reasoning have focused on improving performance, in this paper we argue that computational times are very important in order to enable real time applications such as autonomous driving. Towards this goal, we present an approach to joint classification, detection and semantic segmentation via a unified architecture where the encoder is shared amongst the three tasks. Our approach is very simple, can be trained end-to-end and performs extremely well in the challenging KITTI dataset, outperforming the state-of-the-art in the road segmentation task. Our approach is also very efficient, taking less than 100 ms to perform all tasks.
Dec 02 2016 cs.CV
In this paper we introduce the TorontoCity benchmark, which covers the full greater Toronto area (GTA) with 712.5 $km^2$ of land, 8439 $km$ of road and around 400,000 buildings. Our benchmark provides different perspectives of the world captured from airplanes, drones and cars driving around the city. Manually labeling such a large scale dataset is infeasible. Instead, we propose to utilize different sources of high-precision maps to create our ground truth. Towards this goal, we develop algorithms that allow us to align all data sources with the maps while requiring minimal human supervision. We have designed a wide variety of tasks including building height estimation (reconstruction), road centerline and curb extraction, building instance segmentation, building contour extraction (reorganization), semantic labeling and scene type classification (recognition). Our pilot study shows that most of these tasks are still difficult for modern convolutional neural networks.
Nov 28 2016 cs.CV
Most contemporary approaches to instance segmentation use complex pipelines involving conditional random fields, recurrent neural networks, object proposals, or template matching schemes. In our paper, we present a simple yet powerful end-to-end convolutional neural network to tackle this task. Our approach combines intuitions from the classical watershed transform and modern deep learning to produce an energy map of the image where object instances are unambiguously represented as basins in the energy map. We then perform a cut at a single energy level to directly yield connected components corresponding to object instances. Our model achieves an increase of 75% in performance on the challenging Cityscapes Instance Level Segmentation task over the state-of-the-art.
Normalization techniques have only recently begun to be exploited in supervised learning tasks. Batch normalization exploits mini-batch statistics to normalize the activations. This was shown to speed up training and result in better models. However its success has been very limited when dealing with recurrent neural networks. On the other hand, layer normalization normalizes the activations across all activities within a layer. This was shown to work well in the recurrent setting. In this paper we propose a unified view of normalization techniques, as forms of divisive normalization, which includes layer and batch normalization as special cases. Our second contribution is the finding that a small modification to these normalization schemes, in conjunction with a sparse regularizer on the activations, leads to significant benefits over standard normalization techniques. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our unified divisive normalization framework in the context of convolutional neural nets and recurrent neural networks, showing improvements over baselines in image classification, language modeling as well as super-resolution.
Nov 11 2016 cs.AI
We present a novel framework for generating pop music. Our model is a hierarchical Recurrent Neural Network, where the layers and the structure of the hierarchy encode our prior knowledge about how pop music is composed. In particular, the bottom layers generate the melody, while the higher levels produce the drums and chords. We conduct several human studies that show strong preference of our generated music over that produced by the recent method by Google. We additionally show two applications of our framework: neural dancing and karaoke, as well as neural story singing.
Nov 11 2016 cs.CL
Encoder-decoder models have been widely used to solve sequence to sequence prediction tasks. However current approaches suffer from two shortcomings. First, the encoders compute a representation of each word taking into account only the history of the words it has read so far, yielding suboptimal representations. Second, current decoders utilize large vocabularies in order to minimize the problem of unknown words, resulting in slow decoding times. In this paper we address both shortcomings. Towards this goal, we first introduce a simple mechanism that first reads the input sequence before committing to a representation of each word. Furthermore, we propose a simple copy mechanism that is able to exploit very small vocabularies and handle out-of-vocabulary words. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on the Gigaword dataset and DUC competition outperforming the state-of-the-art.
Aug 30 2016 cs.CV
The goal of this paper is to perform 3D object detection in the context of autonomous driving. Our method first aims at generating a set of high-quality 3D object proposals by exploiting stereo imagery. We formulate the problem as minimizing an energy function that encodes object size priors, placement of objects on the ground plane as well as several depth informed features that reason about free space, point cloud densities and distance to the ground. We then exploit a CNN on top of these proposals to perform object detection. In particular, we employ a convolutional neural net (CNN) that exploits context and depth information to jointly regress to 3D bounding box coordinates and object pose. Our experiments show significant performance gains over existing RGB and RGB-D object proposal methods on the challenging KITTI benchmark. When combined with the CNN, our approach outperforms all existing results in object detection and orientation estimation tasks for all three KITTI object classes. Furthermore, we experiment also with the setting where LIDAR information is available, and show that using both LIDAR and stereo leads to the best result.
Jun 24 2016 cs.CV
In this paper we present a robust, efficient and affordable approach to self-localization which does not require neither GPS nor knowledge about the appearance of the world. Towards this goal, we utilize freely available cartographic maps and derive a probabilistic model that exploits semantic cues in the form of sun direction, presence of an intersection, road type, speed limit as well as the ego-car trajectory in order to produce very reliable localization results. Our experimental evaluation shows that our approach can localize much faster (in terms of driving time) with less computation and more robustly than competing approaches, which ignore semantic information.
Apr 12 2016 cs.CV
In this work, we propose a novel way of efficiently localizing a soccer field from a single broadcast image of the game. Related work in this area relies on manually annotating a few key frames and extending the localization to similar images, or installing fixed specialized cameras in the stadium from which the layout of the field can be obtained. In contrast, we formulate this problem as a branch and bound inference in a Markov random field where an energy function is defined in terms of field cues such as grass, lines and circles. Moreover, our approach is fully automatic and depends only on single images from the broadcast video of the game. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by applying it to various games and obtain promising results. Finally, we posit that our approach can be applied easily to other sports such as hockey and basketball.
Apr 08 2016 cs.CV
We tackle the problem of estimating optical flow from a monocular camera in the context of autonomous driving. We build on the observation that the scene is typically composed of a static background, as well as a relatively small number of traffic participants which move rigidly in 3D. We propose to estimate the traffic participants using instance-level segmentation. For each traffic participant, we use the epipolar constraints that govern each independent motion for faster and more accurate estimation. Our second contribution is a new convolutional net that learns to perform flow matching, and is able to estimate the uncertainty of its matches. This is a core element of our flow estimation pipeline. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in the challenging KITTI 2015 flow benchmark, and show that our approach outperforms published approaches by a large margin.
Dec 22 2015 cs.CV
Our aim is to provide a pixel-wise instance-level labeling of a monocular image in the context of autonomous driving. We build on recent work [Zhang et al., ICCV15] that trained a convolutional neural net to predict instance labeling in local image patches, extracted exhaustively in a stride from an image. A simple Markov random field model using several heuristics was then proposed in [Zhang et al., ICCV15] to derive a globally consistent instance labeling of the image. In this paper, we formulate the global labeling problem with a novel densely connected Markov random field and show how to encode various intuitive potentials in a way that is amenable to efficient mean field inference [Krähenbühl et al., NIPS11]. Our potentials encode the compatibility between the global labeling and the patch-level predictions, contrast-sensitive smoothness as well as the fact that separate regions form different instances. Our experiments on the challenging KITTI benchmark [Geiger et al., CVPR12] demonstrate that our method achieves a significant performance boost over the baseline [Zhang et al., ICCV15].
We introduce the MovieQA dataset which aims to evaluate automatic story comprehension from both video and text. The dataset consists of 14,944 questions about 408 movies with high semantic diversity. The questions range from simpler "Who" did "What" to "Whom", to "Why" and "How" certain events occurred. Each question comes with a set of five possible answers; a correct one and four deceiving answers provided by human annotators. Our dataset is unique in that it contains multiple sources of information -- video clips, plots, subtitles, scripts, and DVS. We analyze our data through various statistics and methods. We further extend existing QA techniques to show that question-answering with such open-ended semantics is hard. We make this data set public along with an evaluation benchmark to encourage inspiring work in this challenging domain.
Nov 23 2015 cs.LG
Supervised training of deep neural nets typically relies on minimizing cross-entropy. However, in many domains, we are interested in performing well on metrics specific to the application. In this paper we propose a direct loss minimization approach to train deep neural networks, which provably minimizes the application-specific loss function. This is often non-trivial, since these functions are neither smooth nor decomposable and thus are not amenable to optimization with standard gradient-based methods. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in the context of maximizing average precision for ranking problems. Towards this goal, we develop a novel dynamic programming algorithm that can efficiently compute the weight updates. Our approach proves superior to a variety of baselines in the context of action classification and object detection, especially in the presence of label noise.
Hypernymy, textual entailment, and image captioning can be seen as special cases of a single visual-semantic hierarchy over words, sentences, and images. In this paper we advocate for explicitly modeling the partial order structure of this hierarchy. Towards this goal, we introduce a general method for learning ordered representations, and show how it can be applied to a variety of tasks involving images and language. We show that the resulting representations improve performance over current approaches for hypernym prediction and image-caption retrieval.
This work investigates how using reduced precision data in Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) affects network accuracy during classification. More specifically, this study considers networks where each layer may use different precision data. Our key result is the observation that the tolerance of CNNs to reduced precision data not only varies across networks, a well established observation, but also within networks. Tuning precision per layer is appealing as it could enable energy and performance improvements. In this paper we study how error tolerance across layers varies and propose a method for finding a low precision configuration for a network while maintaining high accuracy. A diverse set of CNNs is analyzed showing that compared to a conventional implementation using a 32-bit floating-point representation for all layers, and with less than 1% loss in relative accuracy, the data footprint required by these networks can be reduced by an average of 74% and up to 92%.
We describe an approach for unsupervised learning of a generic, distributed sentence encoder. Using the continuity of text from books, we train an encoder-decoder model that tries to reconstruct the surrounding sentences of an encoded passage. Sentences that share semantic and syntactic properties are thus mapped to similar vector representations. We next introduce a simple vocabulary expansion method to encode words that were not seen as part of training, allowing us to expand our vocabulary to a million words. After training our model, we extract and evaluate our vectors with linear models on 8 tasks: semantic relatedness, paraphrase detection, image-sentence ranking, question-type classification and 4 benchmark sentiment and subjectivity datasets. The end result is an off-the-shelf encoder that can produce highly generic sentence representations that are robust and perform well in practice. We will make our encoder publicly available.
Books are a rich source of both fine-grained information, how a character, an object or a scene looks like, as well as high-level semantics, what someone is thinking, feeling and how these states evolve through a story. This paper aims to align books to their movie releases in order to provide rich descriptive explanations for visual content that go semantically far beyond the captions available in current datasets. To align movies and books we exploit a neural sentence embedding that is trained in an unsupervised way from a large corpus of books, as well as a video-text neural embedding for computing similarities between movie clips and sentences in the book. We propose a context-aware CNN to combine information from multiple sources. We demonstrate good quantitative performance for movie/book alignment and show several qualitative examples that showcase the diversity of tasks our model can be used for.
May 14 2015 cs.CV
In this paper we tackle the problem of instance-level segmentation and depth ordering from a single monocular image. Towards this goal, we take advantage of convolutional neural nets and train them to directly predict instance-level segmentations where the instance ID encodes the depth ordering within image patches. To provide a coherent single explanation of an image we develop a Markov random field which takes as input the predictions of convolutional neural nets applied at overlapping patches of different resolutions, as well as the output of a connected component algorithm. It aims to predict accurate instance-level segmentation and depth ordering. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on the challenging KITTI benchmark and show good performance on both tasks.
Convolutional neural networks with many layers have recently been shown to achieve excellent results on many high-level tasks such as image classification, object detection and more recently also semantic segmentation. Particularly for semantic segmentation, a two-stage procedure is often employed. Hereby, convolutional networks are trained to provide good local pixel-wise features for the second step being traditionally a more global graphical model. In this work we unify this two-stage process into a single joint training algorithm. We demonstrate our method on the semantic image segmentation task and show encouraging results on the challenging PASCAL VOC 2012 dataset.
This paper proposes a novel framework for generating lingual descriptions of indoor scenes. Whereas substantial efforts have been made to tackle this problem, previous approaches focusing primarily on generating a single sentence for each image, which is not sufficient for describing complex scenes. We attempt to go beyond this, by generating coherent descriptions with multiple sentences. Our approach is distinguished from conventional ones in several aspects: (1) a 3D visual parsing system that jointly infers objects, attributes, and relations; (2) a generative grammar learned automatically from training text; and (3) a text generation algorithm that takes into account the coherence among sentences. Experiments on the augmented NYU-v2 dataset show that our framework can generate natural descriptions with substantially higher ROGUE scores compared to those produced by the baseline.
Feb 17 2015 cs.CV
In this paper, we propose an approach that exploits object segmentation in order to improve the accuracy of object detection. We frame the problem as inference in a Markov Random Field, in which each detection hypothesis scores object appearance as well as contextual information using Convolutional Neural Networks, and allows the hypothesis to choose and score a segment out of a large pool of accurate object segmentation proposals. This enables the detector to incorporate additional evidence when it is available and thus results in more accurate detections. Our experiments show an improvement of 4.1% in mAP over the R-CNN baseline on PASCAL VOC 2010, and 3.4% over the current state-of-the-art, demonstrating the power of our approach.
Jul 24 2014 cs.CV
One of the most popular approaches to multi-target tracking is tracking-by-detection. Current min-cost flow algorithms which solve the data association problem optimally have three main drawbacks: they are computationally expensive, they assume that the whole video is given as a batch, and they scale badly in memory and computation with the length of the video sequence. In this paper, we address each of these issues, resulting in a computationally and memory-bounded solution. First, we introduce a dynamic version of the successive shortest-path algorithm which solves the data association problem optimally while reusing computation, resulting in significantly faster inference than standard solvers. Second, we address the optimal solution to the data association problem when dealing with an incoming stream of data (i.e., online setting). Finally, we present our main contribution which is an approximate online solution with bounded memory and computation which is capable of handling videos of arbitrarily length while performing tracking in real time. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithms on the KITTI and PETS2009 benchmarks and show state-of-the-art performance, while being significantly faster than existing solvers.
Jul 10 2014 cs.LG
Many problems in real-world applications involve predicting several random variables which are statistically related. Markov random fields (MRFs) are a great mathematical tool to encode such relationships. The goal of this paper is to combine MRFs with deep learning algorithms to estimate complex representations while taking into account the dependencies between the output random variables. Towards this goal, we propose a training algorithm that is able to learn structured models jointly with deep features that form the MRF potentials. Our approach is efficient as it blends learning and inference and makes use of GPU acceleration. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm in the tasks of predicting words from noisy images, as well as multi-class classification of Flickr photographs. We show that joint learning of the deep features and the MRF parameters results in significant performance gains.
Jun 17 2014 cs.CV
Recent trends in image understanding have pushed for holistic scene understanding models that jointly reason about various tasks such as object detection, scene recognition, shape analysis, contextual reasoning, and local appearance based classifiers. In this work, we are interested in understanding the roles of these different tasks in improved scene understanding, in particular semantic segmentation, object detection and scene recognition. Towards this goal, we "plug-in" human subjects for each of the various components in a state-of-the-art conditional random field model. Comparisons among various hybrid human-machine CRFs give us indications of how much "head room" there is to improve scene understanding by focusing research efforts on various individual tasks.
Jun 10 2014 cs.CV
Detecting objects becomes difficult when we need to deal with large shape deformation, occlusion and low resolution. We propose a novel approach to i) handle large deformations and partial occlusions in animals (as examples of highly deformable objects), ii) describe them in terms of body parts, and iii) detect them when their body parts are hard to detect (e.g., animals depicted at low resolution). We represent the holistic object and body parts separately and use a fully connected model to arrange templates for the holistic object and body parts. Our model automatically decouples the holistic object or body parts from the model when they are hard to detect. This enables us to represent a large number of holistic object and body part combinations to better deal with different "detectability" patterns caused by deformations, occlusion and/or low resolution. We apply our method to the six animal categories in the PASCAL VOC dataset and show that our method significantly improves state-of-the-art (by 4.1% AP) and provides a richer representation for objects. During training we use annotations for body parts (e.g., head, torso, etc), making use of a new dataset of fully annotated object parts for PASCAL VOC 2010, which provides a mask for each part.
Oct 09 2012 cs.LG
In this paper we derive an efficient algorithm to learn the parameters of structured predictors in general graphical models. This algorithm blends the learning and inference tasks, which results in a significant speedup over traditional approaches, such as conditional random fields and structured support vector machines. For this purpose we utilize the structures of the predictors to describe a low dimensional structured prediction task which encourages local consistencies within the different structures while learning the parameters of the model. Convexity of the learning task provides the means to enforce the consistencies between the different parts. The inference-learning blending algorithm that we propose is guaranteed to converge to the optimum of the low dimensional primal and dual programs. Unlike many of the existing approaches, the inference-learning blending allows us to learn efficiently high-order graphical models, over regions of any size, and very large number of parameters. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, while presenting state-of-the-art results in stereo estimation, semantic segmentation, shape reconstruction, and indoor scene understanding.
In this paper we propose a unified framework for structured prediction with latent variables which includes hidden conditional random fields and latent structured support vector machines as special cases. We describe a local entropy approximation for this general formulation using duality, and derive an efficient message passing algorithm that is guaranteed to converge. We demonstrate its effectiveness in the tasks of image segmentation as well as 3D indoor scene understanding from single images, showing that our approach is superior to latent structured support vector machines and hidden conditional random fields.
Traditional multi-view learning approaches suffer in the presence of view disagreement,i.e., when samples in each view do not belong to the same class due to view corruption, occlusion or other noise processes. In this paper we present a multi-view learning approach that uses a conditional entropy criterion to detect view disagreement. Once detected, samples with view disagreement are filtered and standard multi-view learning methods can be successfully applied to the remaining samples. Experimental evaluation on synthetic and audio-visual databases demonstrates that the detection and filtering of view disagreement considerably increases the performance of traditional multi-view learning approaches.
Apr 09 2012 cs.CV
In this paper we present a novel slanted-plane MRF model which reasons jointly about occlusion boundaries as well as depth. We formulate the problem as the one of inference in a hybrid MRF composed of both continuous (i.e., slanted 3D planes) and discrete (i.e., occlusion boundaries) random variables. This allows us to define potentials encoding the ownership of the pixels that compose the boundary between segments, as well as potentials encoding which junctions are physically possible. Our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art on Middlebury high resolution imagery as well as in the more challenging KITTI dataset, while being more efficient than existing slanted plane MRF-based methods, taking on average 2 minutes to perform inference on high resolution imagery.
This manuscripts contains the proofs for "A Primal-Dual Message-Passing Algorithm for Approximated Large Scale Structured Prediction".